If I Could Turn Back Time, Gus Van Sant Would Know What a Bad Idea Is!

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As far as I am concerned, the two most appalling remakes ever made are the foulness known as the Psycho remake, that, as Roger Ebert says, proves that you can make a bad movie shot by shot the same as a great movie, and the grotesque Diabolique remake, that, in changing the ending, makes the entire film meaningless.

If you could turn back the clock, what remake would you prevent from being made?

-- Kymm Zuckert (hedgehog@hedgehog.net), August 25, 2000


*Jackal*. What the hell were they thinking? *Day of the Jackal* was perfect.

-- Catriona (catri696@purpleturtle.com), August 25, 2000.

"Lost Horizon," with Peter Finch (poor man) and Liv Ullmann and songs by Burt Bacharach. Truly awful.

-- john burke (john.burke@mindspring.com), August 25, 2000.

I second the "Lost Horizon" nomination. My lord. What were they thinking. On the face of it, the cast wasn't half bad, but it was a bad movie.

"Sommersby" was basically a remake of "Le Retour de Martin Guerre," right? I hated "Sommersby" but loved Martin Guerre.

-- Laura (windmills@diaryland.com), August 25, 2000.

The Vanishing, which is the half arsed remake of Spoorloos(Dutch for The Vanishing). The Dutch version was a taut and terrifying movie, with a final scene that made me and my housemate tear home in the car, make sure all the doors were locked, and switch on every light in the house. I believe I slept with my light on that night. The papcrap Hollywood remake, just made me want to shout at the TV. They changed one of the most brilliant endings to give it a fucking happy ending, which just fucked the movie completely. Pile of steaming shit really.

And a truly sad thing? The director of the original film, George Sluizer, also directed the abortion of a remake. Sad sad sad.

Of course, speaking of almost shot scene for scene and ending up with a crap movie, try Point of No Return (which was called The Assassin when it was released in Australia), a remarkably dull and pallid version of the French film Nikita. Entire scenes and dialogue lifted holus bolus, but it still ended up as shite.

If I see remake, I have second thoughts about watching the movie.

-- Amanda Page (amanda@amandasprecipice.com), August 26, 2000.

I'm going to offer an unpopular opinion: I didn't like the latest Little Women. I love the version with Elizabeth Taylor, Janet Leigh, Margaret O'Brien and June Alyson. The new version not only has an inferior cast, but it doesn't have a good narrative flow. They choose odd scenes from the book to string together and... well... feh. I didn't like it.

-- Monique (mo@mopie.com), August 27, 2000.

Christopher Reeve made a re-make of "Rear Window" for TV last year with Darryl Hannah in the Grace Kelly role. At least I think it was her. I have sucessfully blocked out the brief experience of watching before shreiking turning off the tv and running naked out of the house in short order. I'm just joking. I didn't really stop to shut off the tv... I feel sad for Mr Reeve and I wish him the best but I still have the unsettling feeling that I'd rather have Raymond Burr chop me up and drag me around town in his suitcase than watch that horror show again.

-- Barb Fecteau (rtfbsfrff@aol.com), August 27, 2000.

The Julia Ormond version of "Sabrina". Why does ANYone need to remake movies that were wonderful the first time 'round? Why not take movies that sucked the first time, but were based on sound plot devices, and remake them into decent films with good actors? Julia didn't look all that hot with short hair, and besides, they didn't use that great segment where Sabrina is attending an exacting cooking school in France: "Yesterday, you learned how to boil water. Today, we vill learn how to crack an egg."

Then there was that remake of "Splendor in the Grass" with Melissa Gilbert in the main role -- I think that one was called "Mediocrity on the Lawn"...

As much as I hate remakes that fuck with the original too much, I despise even more those that lift the dialogue etc. untouched from the original. Gus, if I wanted to see Hitchock, I'd rent it. This bugs me with songs, too, such as Echo and the Bunnymen's version of "People are Strange." Purists may be appalled at Madonna's "American Pie", but at least she's made it her own and not a pale Xerox.

You should've been in the theater when an Alcott-lovin' friend of mine saw Winona pretending to be Jo March. Shrieks of "THERE'S NO KISSING IN 'LITTLE WOMEN'!" could be heard as far as the lobby. "Little Women" disappoints me in every format in which it's presented and will continue to do so until someone creates a version in which Jo and Laurie get married. I hate that German guy, and Amy is a little snot- ball.

-- Kim Rollins (kimrollins@yahoo.com), August 28, 2000.

I want to change my answer above. Meet Joe Black, the remake of Death Takes a Holiday (1934, I think). Frederick March or Brad Pitt? I'll go with Frederick March.

-- Laura (windmills@diaryland.com), August 28, 2000.

I love love LOVE the new Little Women. When I was a kid, I always wondered what Jo saw in that old man, but when I realized that he looked like Gabriel Byrne, it all became clear.

And I agree about remaking poorly excecuted films. Look at Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, that's a remake of a film called Bedtime Story (that my Mom is actually in) that just doesn't work, but the remake is great!

-- Kymm Zuckert (kymmz1@yahoo.com), August 28, 2000.

Kim's last paragraph and Kymm's first paragraph made my day. I don't care if it's a classic - I loathe it - and now I realize why.

-- Diana (diana@alum.mit.edu), August 28, 2000.

Put me in the "I love the new Little Women" category, please. I love it so much that I can even overlook my usual hatred of Winona. When Marmie tells asks Jo how a person with such extraordinary talents can expect to lead an ordinary life and tells her to "embrace her liberty," I sob. Hysterically. And I think Kirsten Dunst is the perfect "young Amy." And even though I know the movie has to basically follow the book and all, I look at Christian Bale as Laurie and I still can't fathom why Jo wouldn't at least roll in the hay once with him. Come on!

But I digress from the topic at hand. In a year or two, I will wish I could go back in time and stop the insanity clearly driving the people who are considering re-makes of Dirty Dancing and The Breakfast Club. For the love of God! Is nothing sacred?

-- dora (dora_525@yahoo.com), August 29, 2000.

I'm suprised to not see someone posting "Emma('s)" "Clueless" remake. I found it kinda funny, but wish all who saw it also would take in the original that it copied. Just saw (again) "10 things I hate about you" last night and wonder if anyone knows if "The taming of the shrew" was ever released, and if it's sucessful presentation warrents the "10 things" to be never considered making. (10 Things) movie had some No Doubt Gweneth Stephani look-a-like covering all sorts of songs. It came off ok, but I would have to agree with the Echo cover mentioned above. If your going to cover something, make it yours or don't do it at all. Sixpence covering "there she goes" as an example. Wasn't that the La's originally or did they do a great cover of someone else? Who knows. I wish all the rap/ hip-hop acts would stop borrowing entire melodies of the classics for their songs. I'm sure they are creative people, so why don't they step out and create something entirely, or at least mostly new to capture the masses, sell records, etc. Movies remade hold a special hated folder in my mental harddrive, but the list of music that has been poorly coverd and is also hated has to be maybe three times as large. ---Have a great day Ethan

-- Ethan Dixon (ethanbro@email.com), January 02, 2001.




I can't talk about it anymore. I get too upset.

-- Jette (jette@rootaction.net), January 03, 2001.

I think the point is less that they are remaking Charade than that they are remaking it with Mark Wahlberg and Thandie Newton. One can only assume that Demme is completely out of his head.

-- Kymm Zuckert (kymmz1@yahoo.com), January 04, 2001.

This thread certainly has risen from the grave. Speaking of: on its first go-around I decided to see the Dutch version of _The Vanishing_, and although I haven't seen the American remake I can't imagine how it could be any more awful than the original, considering that the ending of the movie is more farce than anything else, as I hope my version of the conclusion, below, will illustrate --

Rex: My girlfriend disappeared three years ago, and I've devoted my entire life to catching the man responsible.

Raymond: I did it. It was me.

Rex: [beats on him for a bit]

Raymond [apparently unharmed]: Are you done?

Rex: Oui

Raymond: If you want to find out what happened to your girlfriend, come with me and I'll let you experience it all for yourself.

Rex: Is she dead?

Raymond: Not sayin'

Rex: Well, this means that if you killed her I'll be dead momentarily as well. Still, I'll get in the car.

[Later, crossing the border into France]

Rex [snatching Raymond's passport]: Aha! It says here that your name is Raymond le Bad Guy and you live at 666 Rue de Psychopath! Now I know who you are!

Raymond: Yes, I realized that there was some danger in your knowing that, and also the license plate on my car, but then I thought, eh, won't be a problem.

Rex: [Still apparently unconcerned as the clue train whizzes by his station.]

[Later, at the rest stop]

Raymond: Here, drink this.

Rex: What's in it?

Raymond: Drugs. It's chock-full of drugs. I drugged your girlfriend and now you've gotta get drugged too.

Rex [after stomping around the rest stop for a bit, then drinking a cupful of drugs anyway]: I thought about what you said earlier, about when you were looking down off the balcony deciding whether or not to jump, and you wondered if thinking about jumping meant you were fated not to jump, so you had to fight predestination by jumping anyway. Then you broke your arm and lost two fingers.

Raymond: [No reaction, but he must have been thinking that the upshot of that story was that jumping wasn't such a hot idea after all.]

[Later, as Raymond awakes]

Rex [igniting lighter]: Hey, I'm in a coffin. How'd that happen?

Raymond [shovelling dirt over casket]: Maybe you should have read the signposts -- especially in a tale RIDDLED WITH IRONY like this one has been from the beginning! Stupid Belgian slapnuts!

-- Kim Rollins (kimrollins@yahoo.com), January 06, 2001.

i realize i'm joining this thread late, but i felt i had to mention Barbed Wire.. which is a remake of Casa Blanca, my all time favorite film. Barbed Wire takes bad remakes to a new level.. not only is it a horrible remake of a classic film, it's a bad adaptation of what was a pretty good comic book.

on the flip side, i really enjoyed Valley Girl (romeo & juliet).. yes i know, it's dated, cheesey, has a weak predictable plot, bad acting, directing, etc. but it was still a better remake than B.W.

-- Bill Densmore (artfish@cais.net), November 08, 2001.

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